I remember in high school, and even in to my college days, when I wasn't the least bit concerned about the amount of sleep I got each night. I would stay awake into the wee hours of the night working on a project or hanging out with friends. Now that I'm older though, I think it's safe to say that sleep is my number two priority in life- with keeping my children alive ringing in at number one. Ironically though, as we get older and value sleep more than life itself, it seems there are more reasons we can't fall asleep than ever before.
Be it stress, a sleep disorder, having too much on your agenda or something as simple as your room is just too quiet- there are a plethora of sleep-inhibitors stealing our z's from us. And some of them aren't as obvious as you think.
Without enough sleep, I'm not any fun to look at or be around, and I don't think I'm the only one. So instead of perpetually apologizing for the bags under your eyes, why not take matters into your own hands? These next nine reasons go a little bit beyond the "toddler who won't let me sleep" excuse and may shed some light on why you're not getting enough shut-eye.
1You Sleep Too Much
According to a BBC article, getting more than nine hours of sleep may make it hard to sleep that night. To not only feel rested and fall asleep at night, scientists recommend getting seven solid hours each night.
There's nothing worse than just getting into bed and thinking about nothing but that cheesecake you just had or what you're going to eat for breakfast in the morning. To help you fall asleep quicker, Popsugar suggests eating a small snack close to when you're planning to go to bed. And, don't worry, as long as it's a healthy choice it won't make you gain weight.
3Your Room Is Cluttered
A new study suggests that people who are disorganized are more prone to sleep issues In general, the National Sleep Foundation recommends keeping your room as free from distraction as possible and having it organized is a great way to start.
4Your Partner Snores
Another common hindrance to sleep is a snoring partner. The National Sleep Foundation suggests taking measures to help your partner sleep better, such as rolling them on their side or, in extreme cases, opting to sleep in separate rooms.
5It's Too Quiet
As Apartment Therapy notes, a too-quiet room won't give you the best night's sleep, as the slightest noise will disrupt you from your slumber. Try buying a fan or sound machine for your room to alleviate some of the silence.
6It's Too Loud
The struggle is real for light sleepers. The garbage truck outside, the sounds of the city or even just your upstairs neighbors may be making it hard for you to stay asleep, according to Huffington Post Try buying a pair of ear plugs or investing in a sound machine to drown out the noise.
7You Can't Stop Thinking
According to a study cited by the University of Texas, people who over-think are more vulnerable to the ill effects of sleep deprivation. Luckily, there are easy ways to "detox" your mind and reduce over-thinking to help you sleep better at night.
8Your Beverage Choices
You may enjoy the stimulating effects of your morning coffee, but studies show that too much caffeine or alcohol make it harder to fall asleep or have a restful night. Of course, you have to survive the day somehow, so everything in moderation.
9You're A Worrier
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, stress can increase anxiety about falling asleep at night, furthering the unhealthy cycle. Similar to over-thinking, try practicing relaxing techniques to clear your mind before you hit the sack, and consider seeing a physician if the problem persists.